“Not every artist has a key to the Gallery but not every artist helps spread the gravel in the parking lot for his/her upcoming show,” Jenny Wallace Dorsey, the Director and Curator of Sunnyshore Studio told me in an interview this week.


In an interview this week Jenny said “At the beginning of February I went up to Jack’s house and laid out all of his paintings. We talked about which paintings he would show. At that time, Jack indicated that he preferred a show with fewer, well-displayed, high-quality artworks.  Jack and I walked through the Gallery space and discussed the best usage of each wall. We decided the far wall would feature a large, beautiful oil painting of a sailboat silhouetted against a sunset. The opposite wall would showcase Jack’s abstract art as well as three sculptures, and so on.”


“On Friday, February 24th, I drove up to the Studio and hung the show,” Jenny continued. “I was really happy with its flow, colors and the complimentary subject matters. I felt we had a very strong show and I was curious to know what my husband, Jason, would think since this is his dad’s art.”

On Monday, February 27th, Jason drove to Camano to see Jenny’s handiwork.  While there were a few paintings still to be hung on the wall, he was very impressed with her collaging of the artworks and the overall impact of the show.

He took the following video at that time.

Meanwhile, Jenny knew that Jack was still making the final decisions on what paintings he was going to display. And while Jenny expected him to swap out a few paintings, she was not prepared for what happened next.

“On Friday, March 3rd, Jason and I drove up to Camano. We arrived late, well after rush-hour traffic. When I walked in the door I stopped dead in my tracks. I wondered what in the world had happened. It didn’t take me long to figure out that instead of Jack swapping out paintings he had added many new paintings. In order to make all of the paintings he had brought over fit, he had had to re-arrange the whole show,” Jenny said.

“I wandered around curious to see if I could understand the rationale behind each painting and contemplated what I should do. I decided to go to bed and sleep on it. That night I had a troubled sleep, with multiple nightmares of setting up the show and then Jack coming in and re-arranging it,” Jenny lamented.

“The next morning I was cataloging the inventory of Jack’s paintings when I realized that the show would have over seventy paintings. I wondered to myself if we’d hit the magic number of 77 which would correspond perfectly with Jack’s birthday since he turns 77 on March 12th. I counted 74 paintings and realized I that was all the paintings. Then it dawned on me that I had forgotten to include Jack’s three sculptures. So the total number of artworks that Jack had unknowingly brought over for his show ended up being 77 on the dot. And that made the rationale for the show work!” Jenny said.

She went on to say, “You can argue that technically Jack only has 76 pieces of art in the show since one piece was done by his mother. But I have not shared this with Jack because I’m quite confident that he is going to bring one more piece over anyway and I’m hoping it’s only one, not two.”

After talking with Jenny I interviewed Jack to understand his side of the story.


Jack said, “I didn’t realize that the show was all hung. It seems like there was a miscommunication between Jenny and I. We had more paintings at the house that I brought over. Annie encouraged me to hang more paintings saying, ‘you can’t sell paintings that aren’t displayed’, and so we kept adding paintings to the show. It just happened.  And I had no idea that it would be a show with 77 artworks.”

Jack concluded, “If anyone is to blame it’s me. I didn’t realize that the show was all hung and set. “

Well, there you have it. In a stroke of unconscious genius or in the providence of God that is how Jack Dorsey’s “Past to Present” Art Retrospective ended up with 77 artworks ranging from watercolor, to oil, to acrylic paintings to marble and wooden sculptures, and from impressionistic to realistic to symbolic and abstract artworks spanning over 50 years of painting: a real tour de force of artwork, revealing the prolific art legacy of one of the vintage watercolorists of Washington State.

In the end, this process reveals the way family is supposed to work. Families are meant to stick together through thick and thin, bring our strengths and individualities to the table, work through out differences, and help each other out.  Jenny smiled and said, “it’s not every artist who has the keys to the gallery where his art is displayed. And it’s not many artists who spend their afternoons helping his son spread gravel to enhance the parking lot. I’m glad Jack has the keys to the Gallery and is such a great help to Jason and I in so many ways.”

Stop by Sunnyshore Studio (2803 S.E. Camano Drive) on Saturday, March 11th (10:00am-5:0pm) and on Sunday, March 12th (1:00 – 5:00pm) to see all 77 (or is it 76) of Jack’s paintings. Or give Jack a call for a private showing (360.387.7304). Jack’s “Past to Present” Art Retrospective will be up through April 1st.


Leave a Reply